Wolf's Slime Mold

Curiosity has ALWAYS driven me...for the good or the bad.

This is Wolf's Slime Mold. This is different than the photos of fungi we normally post.

Slime molds are in a different kingdom from fungi and are more closely related to single-celled organisms. They have two life-cycle stages. The first, “plasmodium” stage is rarely noticed. It is like a huge, single-celled amoeba that creeps on dead plant material in long thin strands, engulfing and digesting bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. When ready to reproduce, it enters its fungus like “sporangia” stage, which makes spores that float away to become new plasmodia elsewhere.

They grow in groups on dead wood, especially large logs. Thought it may seem like one, this species isn't actually a mushroom or fungus. It belongs to a group called slime molds, or myxomycetes—a group of fungus like organisms that at one time were regarded as animals, then thought to be plants, then fungi. Now, because of DNA studies, slime molds are believed to be closer to the protozoa. They are studied by botanists and mycologists.


Here is a PDF book on slime molds, Myxomycetes: A Handbook of Slime Molds, 2000, 183 pages, Steven L. Stephenson

Here's an excellent PBS video.